There was a time in my area, when the Binmen, who were then called Ashmen, would receive Christmas Cards that would often include money as a sign of appreciation of the work that they did.
That was in the days though, when our homes were heated by coal and bins then were made of metal to take the hot ashes that were deposited in them each morning. Well hopefully hot. Nothing worse than getting up on a cold morning to find that your well damped down fire was too well damped down and gone out in the night.
Loved the coal fire, sit and stare into the glowing embers of the fire, move some of the coal aside to make a space just the right size for a thick piece of freshly sliced bread that was bread then and toast it on the end of the toasting fork you had made in metal work at school all those years before. Best toast in the world, especially if you had real butter that week and not Stork margarine as was usual.
The Ashmen would come twice a week, heave that heavy bin onto their leather clad back and carry their full load from around the back of the house, down the steps, along the path, down more steps and then heave it onto the back of their waiting dust van. The bin then, with your house number painted on it, would then be placed by the side of the road for you to collect later. They really earned those Christmas cards and tips.
Then of course it all changed. There is now a black bin, a blue bin, a green bin and a white canvas bag and numerous other bags of different colours that they collect once a fortnight on different days.
And God help the person, no matter what their age or physical ability if something goes in the wrong container.
After one black bag, I put out remained sitting there for several collections, whilst all its friends had been taken away, I went out and asked the surly brute from the company outsourced by the council why. I was informed that there were either cans or tins in the bag and that I would have to sort it first. Now I did attempt to explain that yes there were a couple of cans in the bag but these contained solidifed fat that I had poured into them but that got nowhere. Pointless trying to reason with a jobsworth.
Now I no longer put any rubbish out but take it straight to the council site myself and throw it in myself and all their expensive containers remain in a pile of redundancy collecting dust.
But they are onto me. When I go to their site now, they always send a boy up to see what I am throwing away. It is a fun game and now I have learnt to wait until it is pouring with rain so their skip guards have to lift themselves from their comfy armchairs and away from the tv in their little cabin and come out in the wet. Oh what fun. Next week I have a cunning plan to create a diversion on the other side of the council yard. My friend and I have it all worked out.
Now the Binmen, who have replaced the heroic Ashmen are despised and held in contempt in my part of the world and no longer receive a smile or greeting, let alone Christmas Cards or gifts. All a bit sad really.
However looking at the image of the bin lorry above, in which the proven liar rag, the Scum Sun reported on the fact that some patriotic Bin Man placed a British National Party logo in the front of his vehicle, as made me realise that there are still some good guys on the bins and so perhaps one day binmen might start getting Christmas Cards again. Let us hope so. They were a part of the community once and can be again.
Elsewhere in the Scum Sun was a pathetic apology for the fact that they had lied about the BNP publishing an article criticising the rights of Gurkhas to stay in the UK. Two months or so late and hidden away in the rag, the Sun had done its work according to their usual operating parameters. Publish a lie, fool some of the people, make half hearted "correction" that is read by few people. Job done and onto the next lie. Rinse and repeat.
By the way, anybody remember this story?
Tony Blair is being driven around during the election campaign in police vehicles bearing the slogan ' Vote Labour', it has emerged.Footnote:
Two Metropolitan Police-owned Range Rovers have been re-sprayed. One is being used to chauffeur the Prime Minister around Britain.
The second is being driven by his police bodyguards.
Scotland Yard sources said the changes to the armoured vehicles had been made at the behest of senior officers for 'operational reasons'.
But critics said it was a further example of the 'politicisation' of the police service - and accused the Met of effectively 'sponsoring' the Labour Party.
By the way I really think you should check out some of the articles on UKTabloid today, especially those stories concerning the spread of swine flu and the planned vaccination programme.